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« Lucid Dreaming | Main | Thinking Speed, Mood and Optimism »

February 25, 2007


Matt Harwood

Dear Richard,

Please do first forgive me graciously for being unable to read your article here with the attention it undoubtably deserves. I have a diagnosis of Paranoid Schizophrenia, and my cogs aren't 100% working on the 'comprehending full paragraphs' front right now!

The gist I got from what I could honestly get (my mind's fault, not mine nor yours) is a very much physical approach in terms of brain structure, rather than mind structure.

To me, the brain is a housing for essential processes of our entire organism. Alongside the data to make the heart beat, we have the mind, to process external events and help make decisions on how to keep safe from these external factors.

My experiences, to me at least, are the result of the mind thinking it's cleverer than it really is. Repressing, and ignoring, anger hurt and rage causing it to be unaware of the boundary between what it makes up, and what it processes from the external sources.

Would love to hear your opinions on this babble of a comment, best regards and wishes to you and yours.


Richard Petty

Dear Matt,

I didn't think that it was a "babble of a comment" at all!

If you've had the chance to read some of my other posts, you may have seen that after years of teaching the art of psychiatric diagnosis, I see people as lying on a kind of spectrum. And I am not that interested in a diagnosis, which may in any case change over time. Something becomes an illness not because it is different, but because it causes suffering.

You may be interested to have a look at another post:

I think that there are good reasons for thinking that the brain constrains the mind rather than creating it.

I have seen thousands of people suffering with all kinds of psychological problems, and what you describe is so often the key: losing perspective and not knowing that it has happened. So the smallest thing grows out of all proportion and other important things - like hurts of all kinds - get submerged.

I do wish you the very best.

Kind regards,


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